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El Colibri

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Everything posted by El Colibri

  1. Yeah, forgot the windscreen for track/sport bike - prefer clear and typically need something a bit taller to get behind in full tuck (especially noticeable/appreciated on the long back straight here at COTA).
  2. 2015 Super Duke, rear brake cylinder wasn't touching, but was right next to (maybe 4-5mm from) the midpipe - pretty much made the rear brake useless 20-30 minutes into a ride. Motul RBF 660 solved the problem.
  3. For a street legal track/sport bike, the first two things I'll do are add Stomp Grip tank pads (for good knee lock on tank) and remove the giant license plate bracket at the rear, which typically involves going with an integrated aftermarket tail light + turn signals (mostly for aesthetics and typically a bit of weight savings). Next is a trip to a local suspension guru to make sure everything is set up properly for my weight and bias toward track riding. I'll also typically remove the factory mirrors and front turn signals (aesthetics, aerodynamics, weight savings and fewer bits to replace in the event of a crash). Speaking of a crash, crash protection - front fork sliders, frame sliders, and rear spool swingarm sliders (cheaper than a new fairing, etc.) - I try to minimize weight and maximize function when selecting these products. For example, rear spool swingarm sliders are one product that serve two purposes - crash protection and rear stand spools. I also try to find a good balance while maintaining good crash protection that won't add time in the paddock for a tire change and create more work for routine maintenance. Next, unfortunately, is addressing all the EPA/CARB compliant/Euro emissions stuff. I'll shave 10lbs + by deleting the catalytic converter, going with an aftermarket exhaust and removing the secondary air system (not only is there a significant weight loss here, but typically more power and lower engine temps as well). Removing the emissions stuff typically necessitates modifications to the ECU - in the case of my current 2018 RSV4, the factory Corse ECU was my preferred choice as it not only addresses the emissions delete, air:fuel, and aftermarket exhaust but also decreases engine braking compared to the stock ECU. Tires, good tires set at the right pressure that inspire confidence. Tires can be like beer, wine or cigars - people have their preferences, so I'll stay away from specifics, but I will say that I always upgrade when necessary to the ones that increase my confidence in the bike's ability. For a strictly street bike (typically touring in my case) I'd say my "intelligent upgrades" in the past have included: a better seat (for long distance comfort), rear shocks (the stock ones could bottom out and that hurts), upgraded fork springs (counteract the horrible fork dive on braking), and various other items that address use-ability for the bike's specific purpose (e.g. luggage rack/panniers, a powered gps mount) or ones that address known reliability issues (e.g. secondary oil cooler because the bike already runs hot and I'm touring the southwest US in August, upgraded high temp brake fluid and a relocation bracket because the rear brake cylinder is almost touching the exhaust).
  4. I’m in the same boat, BEIN got dumped by my provider. I had to pony up directly to MotoGP - I did get it for $40 cheaper (IIRC) than Motogp.com through the iPhone app (that was at the start of the season). Not sure why it’s cheaper through Apple, but been that way for a couple years now - fingers crossed it continues.
  5. Thanks Cobie, I’d say after practicing Wide Vision, the next key tool I’ve gained from CSS is overcoming and dealing with SR’s appropriately. Once Wide Vision has enabled me to identify a dangerous condition it’s easy to target fixate, get stiff and grab a handful of break - typically all of which are exactly the wrong thing to do. Instead of falling into these traps I do my best to go back to Wide Vision and stay loose - it’s taken a lot of practice. When the situation/circumstance warrants, I find myself practicing the hook turn and/or adding more lean angle through counter steering (both of which are nearly impossible if I stiffen up and grab a handful of break). At first I was kind of amazed, and now I completely trust, how easy it is to tighten my turn mid corner when necessary. In terms of limiting distractions and maximizing free attention, I do like wearing earplugs, but without them I haven’t found myself any more or any less distracted. For me, the biggest benefit of earplugs are reducing fatigue and increasing stamina. Thus, I’d say fatigue can be my biggest barrier to free attention and correct technique. This is where physical fitness, and especially staying hydrated, come into play. Unless I’m just going to the store, lunch/dinner, I’ve always got a bottle of Skratch with me on a spirited ride.
  6. It’s not necessarily an either/or, it’s both seat and pegs and depends on what stage of the corner I’d say. Weighting the outside peg to setup body position early for the turn (pushing off the outside peg to move my butt and create a good lock on the bike between ball of foot/toe to knee locked into tank) allows me to absorb braking forces with the lower body. Mid corner there is some weight on the seat from the thigh and one buttock (I’m not lifting my midsection off the bike with the pegs), but majority of weight and force is being supported by the outside peg to knee locked on tank connection. Once the corner ends (i.e. I can go WOT), I’ll support the majority of my weight and acceleration forces with my butt on the seat and back of seat, but I still have my legs/feet supported by the pegs (I’m never 100% weight on the seat either). I’ll stay on the right of the bike if I’ve got another right hander quickly ahead. If at corner exit, I’ve got a long straight ahead, I’ll go to “home position” as you call it, (most aerodynamic). If I’ve got a quick series of alternating turns, there’s no time to stay in home position, it’s knee to knee and side to side time.
  7. On the street my absolute number one priority is safety. On the street I’m constantly trying to remain conscious of the variables outside of my control: most notably these include road conditions (loose gravel or a boulder in the middle of a blind turn), wildlife, oncoming traffic crossing over the double yellow, and the unimaginable/unexpected (like a Porsche making a 3-point U-turn in the middle of a blind corner on Mulholland, yes it happens). The most valuable tool I’ve learned from CSS for increased safety on the street is Wide Vision - without practicing wide vision it’s impossible to look through a corner and reserve attention/awareness for the unexpected. Wide vision and riding at 70-80% of my ability on the street has served me well. That way, hopefully, I become aware of the unexpected ASAP and I’ve got an extra $2-3 in savings to spend on it.
  8. Laguna is a great choice, especially if you’ve never been to the area - a lot to offer in the way of off track activities/scenery (Monterey, Santa Cruz, extend your stay and rent a bike to ride PCH). Barber would be high on my list - great track plus the museum. VIR another obvious choice for track. And never been, but I hear good things about the track at the Corvette Museum. Honestly, I don’t think there are any bad or wrong choices. No matter where you go, the two day camp will be a top notch experience - in my mind it would depend on my schedule and what else I’d like to tie into the trip... Visit friends, ride PCH, try to break even on the trip at the tables in Vegas???
  9. Thanks Cobie, those words plus I went back to Twist I & II, let it all sink in for a couple days and it has been helpful. I now realize my ideal braking scenario was drawn from the graph I have in my head that was shown to us during Level II (I think) - the graph of braking force vs time for a pro level racer. I now see how I had created my ideal based solely off that graph and the desire to maintain stability - get to maximum braking ASAP without unnecessarily/dangerously upsetting the bike's stability and then slowly decrease the pressure as I approach the TP. Now thinking of it as a "fine adjuster" and as Keith wrote, "as a reverse throttle" - don't know why those two weren't obvious to me before... I can now see a bit more clearly how I might tweak my ideal braking scenario and still fit that graph - get to the necessary maximum braking first then appropriately decrease the pressure to approach my desired corner entry speed. As Keith wrote in Twist I, "You must treat yourself more kindly and make that one mph easier to find." I realize mere words are no substitute for the actual practice of the art of cornering, yet this discussion has been helpful - looking forward to Level 4.
  10. I’ve done both formats and personally prefer the two day camp format if it’s not feasible to bring my own bike - just seemed to flow more smoothly, and most importantly you get a bit more time with your coach. Those factors plus the use of the school’s bike/camera bike/fuel/tires makes it worth the price of admission in my mind. That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the single days and since it’s a refresher for you, I’d probably save some $ too. If you have a bike you plan to be on the track with and can get it to the school, then I’d definitely get some coaching while on that bike and the single day is your only option. Either way, I’m sure you’ll make a lot of improvements and have a great time, again.
  11. Hotfoot, I'll try to make my opinion a data driven one... Looking over the first three (most recent) pages of School Questions/General Discussion, it appears that roughly 1/4 topics would not fall under one of the new categories. Thus, seems reasonable to still include a General section. For example, where would a future, "Forum Changes - Opinions Wanted," and/or a hypothetical future "Fleet Break-In" fall under? My $0.02 anyway
  12. Thanks Hotfoot, good points. I too suspect that she had some front brakes while turning the wheel. I’m constantly reminding her to relax her arms and shoulders. Come to think of it, that’s the second time I’ve witnessed her drop it on a low speed right (the first was on a deep sandy right off road and I know she was squeezing the brake while turning there). She’s only been riding a couple of years because I love it so much, she scares the heck out of me sometimes. Thanks!
  13. Jaybird, very similar thing happened to my wife this last Sunday afternoon. Two intersections from our house I watched her go down on a right at a stop sign she rolled through - it was about 60F at the time. I came up behind her, got off my bike and she said, "I don't know what happened, the front tire just..." I replied, "Yeah, cold tires sweetie..." She said, "Oh, I never knew tires could be cold." She scraped up her knee, a few scratches on her Triumph Street Twin (exhaust, bar ends, brake lever), and a scratch on her helmet but ultimately everything was OK. She got right back on and we went on our way. Spent Happy Hour at the bar (no drinks just half-price food) talking about what she could learn from it - biggest lesson was cold tires (and maybe not rolling through stop signs). Lesson for me was I need to pass on more of my knowledge. I couldn't offer much more as I wasn't paying that close attention until just before I saw her bounce off the pavement - luckily it was only at about 10 mph.
  14. Hello all, I've been a fly on the wall for a while now - I appreciate all the knowledge and discussion here. Recently signed up so I could ask some questions and participate. Began riding on a 1983 Honda z50 when I was six and I've been through quite a few bikes since (all dirt until I was in my 20's, now I'm in my 40's and mostly ride street and track, still get on the dirt from time to time though). I've been to a two-day camp and a couple single days with CSS and can't say enough great things about what Keith started and the CSS team carries on. The closest thing to race experience I've had was working as a Corner Marshall at the 2018 MotoGP event at COTA - on Comms to race control at T14 for four days. It was great to see the action up close and participate in the safety of the races. I live outside Austin, TX and about 35 miles from COTA - that and Harris Hill are my local tracks, haven't made it to MSR Cresson or Houston yet. I've been on the fence about getting into CRMA - family and other passions make the financial side difficult to justify. Anyway, greetings, I appreciate the opportunity to become a part of this online community.
  15. Agreed, I was just thinking something like, Going to Barber XX-XX dates. Rented a car, PM me if interested in sharing. Just thought it might help people reduce some of the cost of school.
  16. I booked a private day with AdMo Tours about 8 years ago. I grew up riding in the dirt but lacked confidence taking my big KTM 990 Adventure into the technical stuff. I learned a lot and had great fun - that 990 had to be screaming through the sandy whoops to keep the weight on the rear wheel, holy ! Can’t remember the guys name that I rode with, but great guy. They’re not geared toward MX, more dual sport and enduro. They also offer tours - I’d still like to do their LA to Vegas ride/route. Looks like they’ve added some other cool ones.
  17. In the larger sense I'd say consistently improved lap times - but I realize that is probably too general and likely stems from poor execution of some of the basics. Based on the feedback I got from the end of my last day with a CSS coach was that 1. I braked too hard in certain corners (hence my smooth braking goal), and 2. My body position was inconsistent (sometimes head too high, sometimes hips out too far or too little, and I noticed sometimes I was failing to get my knees locked onto the tank before breaking, thus absorbing brake forces with my upper body and onto the handlebars/front suspension). That being said, I'd say my goal is to achieve consistently correct body position from the time I roll off the gas to turn entry - I'd say that string of events seems to be my biggest road block to consistent lap times and improving them. I feel the most comfortable and confident mid-corner and on corner exit - even with the inconsistencies I experience on entry. What I am consistently saying to myself at corner entry (a milisecond after I begin to countersteer/lean the bike in) is, "oh, I could have carried a lot more speed in here." So I'd say my confidence spikes as soon as I begin to turn the bike and plummets when I get on the brakes (though hard braking isn't my issue with regard to confidence, but more likely with regard to corner entry speed). Exactly how to brake that down and what drills I might need is a bit of mystery but I'd bet a CSS coach could help here - your feedback in the meantime would be much appreciated too. I read Keith's article, "The Fine Art of Braking," and found a lot of great info - as though it was written for me right now. I personally never said, "what the F*%#," about the no brakes section of the school format, but I also thought it was more of a tool for getting students to ease into the day, so we weren't charging right off the bat. I didn't realize that it was also a powerful tool for experimenting with, and refining, our sense of speed and discovering the appropriate corner entry speed. I look forward to playing with that.
  18. Thanks Hotfoot - I prefer the route of seeking the observations of the CSS coaches for what I should be working on rather than arriving with a list of what I think I need. That statement makes me think of the article by Keith regarding types of students... I like to think of myself as the 6th type, open-minded and teachable. That’s why I keep coming back to CSS - I get to become a well trained student with a very well trained coach. Plus I always see a lot of improvement. I do have a couple goals in mind though - consistency and smooth braking.
  19. Separating School Questions/General Discussion into 2 separate sections would make sense to me as they aren't equivalent and would make reading/searching/posting topics more clearly defined. Yes, a separate section for gear (possibly bike and rider prep) would make sense. Lastly, perhaps a section for specific school/student check-in - a place to post who's coming, carpool/rideshare opportunities, split a hotel and rental car, etc.
  20. Last time I was at CSS, about a year ago, I heard something about a Level 4 curriculum being developed... Was I misinformed, is it being taught yet?? I'm always looking forward to returning to CSS and when I ride I'm doing my best to hone the skills taught in Levels 1-3. Lately I've been asking myself, which particular skills do I need to work on? Should I be taking note of the things I'd like to work on in preparation for returning for Level 4 or is there a new a curriculum?
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